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[personal profile] chrysalitron
I wasn't going to post any more of the Zaxie story today, but I've got a crapload of parts divided up, and I figured.....well, I might as well. Hee. ;-)

Still feeling shaken when her shift ended, Maxie put on her coat and headed to Kelly’s, where she’d agreed to meet Georgie. When she got there, Georgie was chatting animatedly with her friend, Guy. Personally, Maxie didn’t see why Georgie couldn’t just go after Guy - he was cute, he was funny, and he seemed to adore Georgie. But when she’d suggested that to her sister, Georgie had only laughed uproariously.

Georgie was in a flutter over something today, so Maxie didn’t even have to pretend to make small talk. She sat down hollowly at the table. She could faintly hear Guy and her sister plotting something excitedly, but she wasn’t concentrating on the words. Instead, she was thinking about what had transpired earlier. "I don’t trust anybody...." Maxie had looked into his eyes at that point, and realized that he meant what he said. Zander had nobody that he could trust, and for some reason, he’d chosen to trust her.

Suddenly, Georgie tugged on her arm. "Maxie, aren’t you paying attention? Guy just, like, totally saved my life!"

Having had enough, Maxie finally exploded. "You know what, Georgie, I’m so sick of hearing about this!" Georgie looked confused, and Guy looked embarrassed, as Maxie continued. Shaking, she snapped, "So you made up an imaginary boyfriend to make Dillon jealous. Big deal. It’s not the end of the world. Talk to me when somebody’s life really is in danger." Realizing the big deal she was making, and the stares she was getting, she stormed out. As she stood in the cold January air, trying to catch her breath, she heard a whispered voice call out to her. She froze. She knew that voice. After the day’s events, she thought she might never forget that voice.

"Maxie....Maxie...," Zander whispered frantically. Maxie squeezed her eyes shut for a brief second. She knew, logically, she should walk away. She could walk back into Kelly’s. He wouldn’t follow her there. She could just pretend she hadn’t heard him. He wouldn’t take the risk of following her into the restaurant. But for some reason.....she just couldn’t. Almost of their own accord, she felt her feet turn her body around, and carry her towards where Zander was hidden against the side of the building.

"Zander, what?!" she asked, feeling a mixture of fright - both that she’d get caught, and at what he might be capable of, and anger that he’d even put her in this situation.

"Maxie, I know I said I’d leave you alone, but I need your help."

She sighed. "What do you want, Zander?"

"I need somewhere to stay. Just until I can get across the border to Canada."

Maxie stared at him incredulously. He had to be kidding. "Zander, my dad is the police commissioner!"

"I know! Nobody will think to look for me at the police commissioner’s house, of all places!" He ran his hand over his forehead, clearly anguished. "Please, Maxie. I promise you, just this, and I’ll never bother you again."

~*~

It was weird, having Zander in her house. Mac, as usual, wasn’t home, so Maxie had no problem sneaking him up to her bedroom. He smiled softly once he got in, glancing around. "What?" she asked him, curious.

"Nothing......," he said quietly, finally adding, "It’s just strange, you know. In the middle of all of this craziness, to see something so....normal."

Maxie followed his gaze around the room, nodding softly. "Yeah.....it’s nice."

He sighed regretfully, sinking down on the edge of her bed. "Maxie, I’m so sorry I dragged you into this. I wouldn’t have done it if I felt I had no choice. You don’t deserve to be in the middle of my mess." He looked so genuinely sad that she couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.

"Zander, I just don’t get it. What happened?"

He shook his head. "For some reason, Beck thinks I shot him. Maxie, I wasn’t even there. I don’t know how he could get the idea that I shot him."

She chewed her lip. "Zander.....you work for Faith Rosco. Everybody knows that. If something goes wrong with one of Sonny Corinthos’s shipments, she’s going to be the first place everyone looks."

Zander shook his head again. "I don’t work for Faith anymore. I quit. She didn’t want me to, but I did anyway."

Maxie narrowed her eyes. "Do you think that Faith had something to do with this, then?"

Zander nodded. "It wouldn’t surprise me. She was really mad when I told her I was leaving. She said I couldn’t. This is right up her alley."

"But why would Officer Beck go along with it? He doesn’t have any reason to hate you, does he?"

He shrugged. "I don’t think so.....but he works for Ric Lansing."

Maxie raised an eyebrow. "Does Ric have reason to hate you?"

"Yeah," Zander said quietly, not elaborating any further. When Maxie stared curiously at him, he finally said, "He’s afraid I’m going to go after something he feels is his. He feels threatened."

Maxie, figuring he meant Elizabeth, felt a surge of jealousy. "Elizabeth?"

"Kind of.....," he said, obviously uncomfortable. "Not really like that, though. I still love Emily."

"I thought she was engaged to Nikolas Cassadine?"

A surge of anger shot through Zander’s eyes, briefly scaring Maxie. "Well, it’s all a lie. She should be with me. He messed with her head, something. Convinced her I was bad news."

Just then, a door slammed downstairs. Both Maxie and Zander stood up. Georgie’s voice called out through the house: "Maxie, where are you? Are you home?"

"Where can I hide?" Zander whispered in Maxie’s ear. She felt goosebumps creep up on her skin at the feeling of his breath on her cheek, and couldn’t think straight for a moment. "Uh....the closet!" Quickly, she shoved him, inwardly praying she had no underwear lying around there. Not that now was the time to think of that, but still.

Georgie knocked briefly, then burst through the door. "Maxie, are you mad at me?"

Maxie swallowed hard. "No, not really."

"Then why did you yell at me? And run out like that?"

"I just.....I just had a bad day at work, is all. I’m really glad you found some way to work out the Tom situation."

Georgie, rolling her eyes, flopped on Maxie’s bed dramatically. Maxie looked nervously at the closet, but all seemed normal. She glanced back at Georgie. "Things aren’t working out with the Tom situation, actually."

"Oh, really? That’s too bad." Maxie knew she should be more concerned, but this had been going on for ages now. Besides, she had a boy with a gun in her closet, which definitely took priority. Unfortunately, Georgie was in the mood to chitchat.

"Yeah....see, Guy was pretty sure he would be able to find him, or the guy who looks just like him, that is. But he’s checked all of the yearbooks of the schools around here, and we can’t find him anywhere. So it looks like I’m going to be humiliated at the dance tonight."

The dance! Maxie had forgotten all about it. "Oh, the dance."

"Yeah....you’re still going, right? I mean, I could use the sisterly comfort."

Maxie shook her head quickly. "No, actually. I’ve decided not to go."

"What?! But Maxie, you already have the dress, and everything!"

"I know.....," Maxie said, shrugging. "I just.....don’t really want to. And I don’t have a date."

Georgie stared at her for a minute. "Are you still worried about Kyle and his stupid jock friends?"

Maxie chewed her lip. "I just don’t want everybody looking at me like they always do, you know?"

"You mean, like you’re that girl who had -"

"Yeah!" Maxie interjected quickly. "I have to deal with it at school every day, and I just don’t want to now, you know? So I thought I’d go do some more work instead."

Georgie rolled her eyes. "Maxie, you’re always at the hospital," she whined. "Please, just come with me tonight. I swear, it will be fun. Or a disaster. But, you know, still -"

Maxie gently cut her off. "Georgie, I just can’t, okay? You’ll be fine. And I already promised them I’d go to work tonight, anyway." She began to steer her sister toward her bedroom door. "I’m sure you’ll be all right on your own."

Out in the hallway, Georgie sighed. "I don’t believe you."

Maxie froze in her tracks. "What?"

"That I’ll be fine! I’m going to be ruined!"

Heaving a huge sigh of relief, Maxie rolled her eyes at her sister. "You will not. Now, get out of here and have a good time."

Georgie pursed her lips, but finally nodded. "All right.....," she said uncertainly. "But I’ll have my cell phone on all night. So if you change your mind -"

"I won’t," Maxie said strongly, starting to push the door shut. "But thanks anyway."

After Georgie had left, Zander cautiously poked his head back around the closet door. Hearing the sound of Georgie’s clunky shoes grow fainter, she nodded at him, and he came out from his hiding place. "That was close," she said softly, feeling her legs shake underneath her.

Zander shook his head gently. "You handled her just fine. You did great."

Maxie shook her own head frantically in return. "Zander, I can’t do this. Do you know how much trouble I’ll be in if I get caught? You can’t stay here."

Zander sighed. "Maxie, I’m really sorry. I know I keep saying that, but I truly am. But, please - just for tonight. I’ll be gone in the morning, and no one will be the wiser." He took a deep breath, and trudged on, meeting her eyes. "Please."

Maxie squeezed her eyes shut. The wheels in her head were all spinning, and they were all screaming that under no circumstances should she let him stay in her house one second longer. But yet, the rest of her was telling her something different. Looking back at him, she saw the despair evident in his face. He needs me, she thought to herself. He has nobody else. Finally, she took another breath, and nodded reluctantly. "You can stay."

He rewarded her with a sunny grin. "You’re the best, Maxie."

She smiled weakly in return. Damn him - no matter what, his smile could always melt her. She hated boys.

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July 2009

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